Rare First Edition of An Abridgment of Mr. Locke's Essay Concerning Humane Understanding

  • An Abridgment of Mr. Locke’s Essay Concerning Humane Understanding.

An Abridgment of Mr. Locke’s Essay Concerning Humane Understanding.

Item Number: 16001

London: Printed for For A. and J. Churchill, and Edw. Castle, 1696.

First edition. Bound in full brown calf, gilt lined to the spine, raised bands, maroon spine label. Edited by John Wynne. In very good condition with some wear to the extremities, a light stain to the first three pages. First editions are rare, the last copy appearing at auction was in 1979.

John Locke is widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "Father of Liberalism"(Korab-Karpowicz, W. Julian, A History of Political Philosophy). His work greatly affected the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence. Locke's theory of mind is often cited as the origin of modern conceptions of identity and the self, figuring prominently in the work of later philosophers such as Hume, Rousseau, and Kant. Locke was the first to define the self through a continuity of consciousness. He postulated that, at birth, the mind was a blank slate or tabula rasa. "Contrary to Cartesian philosophy based on pre-existing concepts, he maintained that we are born without innate ideas, and that knowledge is instead determined only by experience derived from sense perception" (Walter Kaufmann).